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The camps being held this week, and also Aug. 5-8, mostly involve children of adults who use the Sealed Mindset facility, which provides training in self-defense and firearms as well as experiential events such as simulated SEAL missions for weekend warriors and target-shooting date nights for couples. Yatch said he wanted to be conservative in offering the first camp but hopes it will gain popularity and that he will expand enrollment next summer.
The curriculum was developed over five years, and the instructors are experts — from the EMT teaching CPR, to Yatch, who as a SEAL had to train in underwater knot-tying, to the ex-Marine John Kent leading the campers through athletic contests.
“Below the line! Below the line!” Kent yelled, pointing a stick at the starting point before one race. “I’ve got a stick for a reason.”
Kent said he plays up the drill sergeant role a little bit for the fun of the camp, but the structure and the rules of the event are real. Grace accidentally pointed the .22 in the wrong direction on the first day, giving her an “unsafe” citation. A second would mean removal from camp.
Yatch hopes the camp has a long-term impact on the children and teaches them important safety skills but also no fear of failure.
“We wouldn’t be putting the effort we put into this just to entertain the kids,” Yatch said. “We’re not doing ‘make-things-out-of-duct tape camp.’ Our goal is to have long-term effects on the children.”
Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744